Some icy spots for Triangle, but most snow goes north and east

From staff reportsJanuary 21, 2014 

  • Schools to open later

    Chapel Hill-Carrboro: Two-hour delay

    Durham: Two-hour delay

    Johnston County: Two-hour delays for West Smithfield and South Smithfield elementary schools

    Orange County: Two-hour delay

    Wake County: Two-hour delay

  • Wake students a-Twitter

    When the first flakes of snow begin to fall, parents once heard an incessant, pleading question from their kids: Will we still have school?

    Now those kids are a digitally deafening online chorus.

    The Wake County Public School System, which has used witty posts to attract a huge Twitter following, was hit by an avalanche of questions about snow days Tuesday. By sunset, tweets were hitting the school system feed roughly every 10 seconds, adding up to thousands of messages.

    The school’s media staff first offered a gentle denial: “To everyone who has asked, the answer is still ‘nah,’” the system’s account posted just after 3 p.m.

    Requests continued to pour in – one including a picture of apples meant to serve as a bribe – and increased as neighboring districts announced delays and snowflakes fell.

    With decision-makers trapped in a school board meeting, the school staff kept up the witty responses – and the occasional reprimands for bad language.

    “Blocking folks left and right today,” the staff posted. “Watch it, kids. You represent us, your school, and your family. Also, colleges are watching.”

    The announcement hit huge when it finally arrived just before 7:30 p.m.: A two-hour delay.

    The school system’s first tweet confirming a delay was shared more than 2,000 times in an hour.

— Drivers north and east of the Triangle had tough conditions to contend with Wednesday morning, but commuters in Wake, Durham, Johnston and Orange counties slipped out of the grip of the winter storm that blew into the area Tuesday night and hammered the Atlantic Coast farther north.

The state Department of Transportation reported possible icy patches on roads, especially bridges, but said highways were generally clear.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, travel to and from the northeast was difficult because of conditions at airports in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., and travelers were urged to check with their airlines if they planned to fly or were planning to meet travelers from that region.

In Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties, the state said, main roads were mostly clear with some icy spots, but secondary roads were covered with snow and ice.

The National Weather Service reported late Tuesday that Tarboro received 2 inches of snow, Sharpsburg in Nash County had 2.5 inches and Rocky Mount got 1.3 inches.

In the Triangle, weather spotters reported a half-inch in Knightdale, while Raleigh-Durham International Airport recorded 0.3 inches.

Light snow continued for a bit after midnight but had ended at RDU by 2 a.m., the weather service said.

Orange County schools, which had a teacher workday scheduled, instead closed for the day. Durham County, Wake County and Chapel-Hill Carrboro school systems are on systemwide two-hour delays Wednesday. Johnston County posted delays for only South Smithfield and West Smithfield elementary schools. (See a complete list of closings and delays at, and get current temperatures across the

The storm, which affected much of the East Coast, prompted the cancellation of the Carolina Hurricanes game in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

N.C. State University canceled Wednesday morning classes and activities scheduled to start before 10 a.m. UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University did not announce delays.

Daytime highs Wednesday will remain in the 20s, forecasters said.. Lows are expected to dip into the teens for the next three nights.

Road crews sprayed brine mixture and salted streets in preparation for the winter storm and were on alert to work through the night to spread salt and sand before the early commute.

East Coast snowed in

The storm was associated with a larger weather system that hit the East Coast from Virginia northward, dropping up to a foot of snow in southern New England. A low-pressure area was driven east by frigid arctic winds.

Airlines canceled dozens of flights to and from RDU throughout Tuesday. The airports most heavily affected were in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

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